Bell Aliant's Sheriff to retire as BCE completes company privatization

Bell Aliant's CEO Karen Sheriff will retire from the company at the end of the year as the company becomes integrated into its parent company Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE).

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BCE and Bell Aliant have said the process of taking Bell Aliant private will be completed on Oct. 31. When that transaction is completed, Bell Aliant will cease operating as a publicly traded company and be integrated into BCE's national operations.

In July, BCE announced it would privatize its Bell Aliant affiliate, which BCE already controlled, by acquiring the interest of public minority shareholders for about $3.7 billion.

Upon completion, Bell Aliant will continue to serve customers in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island from its Halifax headquarters.

Other than saying a regional leader would be named when the closing of BCE's privatization of Bell Aliant is completed in October, the company has not named a replacement.

Serving as Bell Aliant's CEO since 2008, Sheriff will probably go down in the BCE history books for her pioneering effort to drive the company's ongoing Fiber to the Home (FTTH) network build known as FibeOP. During the second quarter, Bell Aliant added 17,100 FibreOP subscribers, bringing the total FibreOP Internet customers to about 217,100 at the end of June.

A well-respected executive in the Canadian telecom market, Sheriff has been recognized for her leadership talents by various organizations and trade publications.

In 2012, she was named Woman of the Year by the Canadian Women in Communications (CWC) and has been recognized as one of Atlantic Canada's Top 50 CEOs by Atlantic Business Magazine and one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women on three separate occasions. She was also named one of the 10 most influential women in wireline by FierceTelecom in 2010.  

During her 15-year tenure at Bell Canada, Sheriff has held a number of executive roles, including serving as chief marketing officer for Bell Canada, a role she moved into shortly after joining Bell Canada in May 1999 as senior vice president of Product Management and Development.

Telecom is only one part of Sheriff's identity. She serves as a director on the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and is also chair of the board of trustees of the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art and a member of the New Brunswick Business Council.

Prior to joining BCE, Sheriff was responsible for corporate marketing and branding at Ameritech (now AT&T), following increasingly senior positions with Ameritech and United Airlines, where she began her business career.

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
Bell Aliant adds 17,100 new FTTH subs in Q2
BCE takes Bell Aliant subsidiary private, plans to continue fiber-based broadband push
Bell Aliant to extend fiber-based broadband service to 125,000 Quebec premises
Comcast jumps to No. 3 in Netflix's speed rankings, but Canadian telcos surpass U.S. broadband speeds

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